PogoPlug has been making appearances in a number of products for a few years now. The premise is simple: take a low-power ARM computer, give it a NAS optimized Linux build, add storage and network access and you have what's been termed the "personal cloud." Access your files anywhere from your PC, phone or tablet; and never beholden to a data center. PogoPlug's particular hardware has been integrated into branded docks and also to OEM branded storage solutions. PogoPlug recently improved its service to include 5 GB of cloud storage available free to anyone interested. 

Today, PogoPlug introduces their Series 4 device, an update that adds one key addition. Like the original Seagate DeskStar dock, the Series 4 acts as a dock for Seagate GoFlex mobile hard drives and includes an SD card reader, Gigabit ethernet, single USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports. The USB 3.0 addition is new, and while the added throughput might be wasted to slow broadband and cellular access, the performance should help with local streaming. 

We can expect more personal cloud devices coming our way. While the convenience of storing all your data in a massive redundant data center is great, having to contend with network difficulties and service fees can be less than ideal, particularly the high costs of expanding storage. Personal cloud devices remove the fees and storage barriers, and leave users with the task of optimization and network upkeep. If you're up to the task and interested in expandable cloud storage, this may be one of the best options around.The Series 4 is available now at your favorite e-tailer for $99.

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  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    That would involve adding a SATA controller, and that would add cost. You can assume that as costs for certain controllers go down, the respective ports will find homes in these types of devices. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if we someday see TB make an appearance.
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    The Series 4 does have a SATA port... It's on top under the removable cap, along with a USB 2.0 port.

    I'm not really sure how 3 USB ports, 1 SATA port and an SD card slot allow for the advertised "infinite storage expansion", unless you consider connecting it to the internet via Ethernet the same as connecting it to the "infinite" resources of "the cloud".
  • FaaR - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    No amount of SATA, USB and SD card slots would allow INFINITE storage, since the amount of matter in the universe (and, more relevantly, on planet Earth) is decidedly finite in nature.

    However, with USB3 connectors you can attach as much fast storage as you're ever likely to need/want, so there's no practical difference really as far as normal people are concerned.
  • jameskatt - Sunday, March 10, 2013 - link

    You can potentially use a USB 3.0 Hub to add more USB 3.0 ports.

    However, the PogoPlug is essentially a small Linux computer with a slow CPU. After a while, it simply cannot handle the amount of data in multiple terrabyte hard drives. It would take forever for it to add previews for the photos and convert the videos for streaming.

    There is also the risk of the PogoPlug destroying data on the hard drives in a multiple-hard drive setup.

    Thus I would recommend only one hard drive attached per PogoPlug. You can buy several PogoPlugs if that suits your needs since they are inexpensive.
  • JKolstad - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    Let me add one other thing... right now this thing is one sale for $60. That's, what? -- the cost of a major video game? It's a great deal if you just want something to plug in and have it "work."
  • JKolstad - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    Sorry, I hit "reply" to the wrong comment here; please ignore this post!
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Do they sell a complete solution with NAS compatible linux OS installed. Everything configured and working out of the box.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    They don't. Buffalo sells a the CloudStor which is a NAS with pogoplug built-in. But like most of these consumer grade products, hackability is limited. They want you to run it stock, and operate it with their tools. That said, the original DeskStar was hacked into quite the emulation box, believe it or not.
  • mcary - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    The HW spec looks good for the price. But the real issue is the software.
    If there is no internet connection you cannot access your pogoplug even if it sits on your desk How good it is for a personal cloud?

    TonidoPlug (www.tonidoplug.com) has the right architecture for personal cloud.
  • dealcorn - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Does the PogoPlug use more or fewer watts than the (released but not available in a retail package) Atom n2600? For a frame of reference, page 112 of the n2600 Datasheet (v. 1/2) lists an average power requirement of 1.09 watts. Looking at the $99 price the PogoPlug should compete with the Atom and the petite form factor has appeal.

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